Few energy projects have been as racked with doubt as thein Somerset, UK.
The latest bout of uncertainty follows the resignation of the chief finance director of EDF, the largely state-owned French company that would construct it. Thomas Piquemal felt that EDF’s share of theneeded to get the power plant up and running could harm the company’s prospects.
Concerned Britishin London today.
The backdrop is a UK government desperate for the plug not to be pulled. Its reasoning? Energy security, the cost of power, and job creation. Nuclear plants can supply zero-carbon power continuously, and Hinkley will generate 7 per cent of current UK electricity demand for 60 years, at a rate that is currently cheaper than that of power from offshore wind. And the foreign investment needed would lead to the creation of some 25,000 jobs.
But how essential is Hinkley? That depends on a few key factors: how much electricity the UK needs in the decades ahead, how efficiently electricity is used and to what extent it replaces transport fuels and natural gas for heating.
suggested that electricity demand in 2050 could be 30 per cent higher than in 2015, with increased nuclear capacity playing an important role in meeting that demand, with smaller roles for coal and bioenergy facilities that capture …
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